Monthly Archives: January 2018

The General Chapter of the SSPX

 

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Let us continue our prayers for the Society’s preservation in the Faith as they continue the fight, under the guidance of a new superior.

The Society of St. Pius X is a priestly society whose statutes were approved by a decree from the bishop of Fribourg, Bishop François Charrière, on November 1, 1970.

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre founded it and organized its hierarchy with the approval of diocesan authority, at a time when the Catholic priesthood was collapsing.

Its constitutions, placed under the patronage of St. Pius X, were hailed with an official letter of praise from the prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal John Joseph Wright, on February 18, 1971.

In his preface for the second edition of the Society’s statutes on March 20, 1990, Archbishop Lefebvre spoke of the action of Providence that, “in His infinite Wisdom has raised up a work for the restoration of the Catholic priesthood in order to preserve the Treasures which Jesus Christ entrusted to His Church. Namely, the Faith in its integrity, Divine Grace through His Sacrifice and His Sacraments, and pastors destined for the dispensation of these Treasures of Divine Life.”

The Status of the SSPX in 2018

Today, the SSPX has 637 priests, with 123 professed brothers and 79 oblate sisters working by their side. In its seminaries and novitiates throughout the world, about 250 young men are currently being formed in the service of the altar.

The year 2018 will be marked by an important event in the life of this priestly society. Indeed, the General Chapter comes together every 12 years to elect the Superior General and his two Assistants, but above all to ensure that the statutes are faithfully followed, always in the spirit in which the Society was founded.

A man of the Church who had acquired an important amount of experience in missionary lands, Archbishop Lefebvre warned against all innovations, except those having to do with the administration of the society that are made necessary by the development of the apostolate and the Society’s multiple works.

General Chapter Dates Announced

Thus, from July 11 to 21, 2018, the fourth General Chapter of the Society will take place in Switzerland, at the St. Pius X Seminary in Econe. The members of the General Council, the superiors of all seminaries and districts, and the priestly members with the most seniority will gather to designate the Society’s authorities and examine the different aspects of the life of the Society: community and liturgical life, apostolate and administration, sanctification of the members, and the fight of the Faith.

On this occasion, the Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay, has prescribed prayers that are to be recited daily in all the houses of the SSPX beginning on January 11, six months before the beginning of the Chapter: the recitation of the Veni Sancte Spiritus to ask the Holy Ghost for enlightenment, and the invocation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Pius X to obtain their protection and intercession. The faithful and all men of good will are cordially invited to join in these prayers.

 

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Pascal Vives’ victory against the Moors

Medieval illuminated manuscript of Mass being said

medieval picture of knights on horseback

As Europe faces its invasions of the ‘Moors’ and the near destruction of everything Christendom is and was, remember Pascal Vives and his victory.

http://traditioninaction.org/religious/h148_Masses.htm

In The History of Spain (Historia de España), the Spanish Jesuit Fr. Juan de Mariana (1536-1624) speaks of a Spanish warrior named Pascal Vives who had a great devotion to the Holy Mass and assisted daily at one or more.

It happened that while he was serving under the standard of the Count of Castile, a large body of Moors, who had already conquered the greater part of Spain, laid seige to the castle of the Count. The garrison, being totally unprepared to stand a siege, were reduced to dire distress, and the Count resolved to make a sally with all his men and risk their lives in a desperate attempt to drive back the Moors.

Pascal Vives remained in the Church to hear more Masses

The next morning the Count with all his soldiers heard Mass. Then, trusting in the divine assistance, they sallied forth against his enemies. But Pascal Vives remained in the church and heard eight Masses, one after another, praying fervently that victory might be on the Count’s side.

While he prayed thus and his comrades fought, the latter saw Pascal Vives mounted on his charger making a gallant onslaught upon the Moors, hewing them down on every side! Calling to the soldiers to follow him, Pascal Vives fearlessly broke the ranks of the enemy, carried off their colors and wrought great havoc amongst them.

The contest lasted nearly four hours, only ceasing at the time when the eighth Mass, at which Pascal had assisted, was ended. The Moors were completely routed. The victory was universally ascribed to Pascal’s heroic bravery, and the Count gave orders that he should have all the honor of it.

But, when all was over Pascal had disappeared. He was sought for all over the battlefield, but nowhere was he to be found. The fact was he had stayed in the church, and there he ramained almost all day. For he was ashamed to leave it, fearing lest the soldiers should mock him for a coward and the Count dismiss him from his service. No tidings of the battle had reached him and he did not know which side had gained the day.

Presently the Count, thinking it likely that Pascal had gone to the church to give thanks to Almighty God for the victory, bade his followers go there in search of him. Pascal was accordingly found and brought into the presece of the Count and his officers.

When all began to compliment him on his prowess and say that the victory they had won was, under God, to be ascribed to him, he was perfectly astonished and knew not what to say. After a short space, interiorly enlightened by God, he confessed the truth, declaring that he had taken no part in the contest, but had during the whole time been in the church where he had heard eight Masses.

The soldiers would not believe what he said, persisting that they had seen him with their own eyes in the thick of the fray and had heard him calling on them to fight valiantly.

Then Pascal answered: “If it really is as you say, the brave knight who bore my semblance must have been my Guardian Angel, for I assure you I have not been out of the church today. Praise God with me and give thanks to Him from your hearts for having sent you an Angel, with whose assistance you were enabled to vanquish the foe.

“But learn from this how pleasing it is to God that we should assist at Mass, and how profitable it is to us, for I am convinced that had I not heard those Masses, my Angel would not have appeared to you and led you on to so signal a victory.”

In these and other words he exhorted the soldiers to be very fervent in hearing Mass.

New Years’ resolutions that really matter

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http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/6-new-year%E2%80%99s-resolutions-catholics-are-achievable

As we wrestle with ourselves over our new years’ resolutions, let’s not lose sight of those that really matter – growth in the knowledge and beauty of the Faith.

Week 1: On Sundays, explore related passages from Scripture for the liturgical day.
Take just 5 minutes each Sunday, open the Bible or collection of sermons, and find a passage to reflect on which corresponds to the day. This week’s feast of the Holy Family is rich for reflection. The Gospel is taken from Luke 2:42-52, dealing with the loss of Our Lord in the Temple. On the topic of Jesus and the doctors in the temple, one could read from the Psalms, 118:97-104. Or on the moral beauties of a united family, Exod. 20:12, Deut. 5:16; 26:16, Proverbs 17:6; 23:22-25; 30:17; 31:10-31.

Week 2: Practice Generosity
Beyond the precept of the Church that requires us to give of our fruits, generosity is more than money. Sometimes the greater generosity is that of time. This week, make one act of generous time that you ordinarily would not do. For husbands and fathers, perhaps go into work early, so you can leave a bit early in order to spend extra time with children. For mothers, perhaps it’s an unsolicited offer to help another mother watch her children for the afternoon or simply 15 minutes of meditation during the week in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

Week 3: Practice Purity of Intention
This Third Sunday after Epiphany also coincides with the feast of St. Agnes, who is venerated for her purity. But purity can go beyond the mandates of the 6th and 9th commandment. Let us also reflect on our intentions during this week before we take an action – is this task, conversation, or recreation I am about to undertake done for the greater glory of God, or is it self-serving?

Week 4: Practice Silence
In Lamentations, and throughout scripture, the preference for us to be silent in prayer and meditation is a recurring theme; “It is good to wait with silence for the salvation of God” (Lam. 3:26) This week, make an effort once a day to allow another to speak, or to refrain from an idle comment. You may be surprised at the frequency this happens. St. Joseph is also a shining example throughout the Christmas gospels: be silent, allowing others to shine more than you.

Week 5: Practice Gratitude
This week make it a practice to find ordinary things throughout the day to be grateful for. It could be gratitude to another, say a coworker for a task they perform daily and it has become so routine we don’t offer anything beyond the mumbled “thanks.” Or it could be a small prayer of thanksgiving to God for the gifts of health, family, a Catholic education for your children, or stable employment. And as we come closer this Sexagesima Sunday to Lent, let us be especially grateful to Our Lord and his priests for the unbound mercy in the confessional.

Week 6: Say the Angelus
In churches and priories, the practice of saying the Angelus is common. In homes and our daily lives, it is less so. On this Quinquagesima Sunday, also the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, let us fall into the good habit of reciting the Angelus. At first, we can make it a habit to say it just once a day – maybe after we wake with our morning prayers. Then, add it to your lunchtime and dinner routine, so along with the Church, you can unite yourself to Our Blessed Mother three times each day.

 

 

The solemn Feast of the Epiphany

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The 12 days of Christmas culminates with the Feast of the Epiphany, the visit of the three wise men. The gifts of the wise men manifests the divinity and royalty of Christ, even pointing to his death, as well. Christ is truly the newborn King, who is indeed God. Here is a meditation on the Feast of the Epiphany from Fr. Prosper Gueranger:

The Feast of the Epiphany is the continuation of the mystery of Christmas; but it appears on the Calendar of the Church with its own special character. Its very name, which signifies Manifestation, implies that it celebrates the apparition of God to His creatures.

For several centuries, the Nativity of our Lord was kept on this day; and when, in the year 376, the decree of the Holy See obliged all Churches to keep the Nativity on the 25th December, as Rome did–the Sixth of January was not robbed of all its ancient glory. It was still to be called the Epiphany, and the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ was also commemorated on this same Feast, which Tradition had marked as the day on which that Baptism took place. Lastly, this Feast is called, in many countries, King’s Feast: it is, of course, an allusion to the Magi, whose journey to Bethlehem is so continually mentioned in today’s Office.

The Epiphany shares with the Feasts of Christmas, Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost, the honor of being called, in the Canon of the Mass, a Day most holy. It is also one of the cardinal Feasts, that is, one of those on which the arrangement of the Christian Year is based; for, as we have Sundays after Easter, and Sundays after Pentecost, so also we count six Sundays after the Epiphany.

The Epiphany is indeed a great Feast, and the joy caused us by the Birth of our Jesus must be renewed on it, for, as though it were a second Christmas Day, it shows us our Incarnate God in a new light. It leaves us all the sweetness of the dear Babe of Bethlehem, who hath appeared to us already in love; but to this it adds its own grand manifestation of the divinity of our Jesus. At Christmas, it was a few Shepherds that were invited by the Angels to go and recognize The Word Made Flesh; but now, at the Epiphany, the voice of God Himself calls the whole world to adore this Jesus, and hear Him.

The mystery of the Epiphany brings upon us three magnificent rays of the Sun of Justice, our Savior. In the calendar of pagan Rome, this sixth day of January was devoted to the celebration of a triple triumph of Augustus, the founder of the Roman Empire: but when Jesus, our Prince of peace, whose empire knows no limits, had secured victory to His Church by the blood of the Martyrs–then did this His Church decree, that a triple triumph of the Immortal King should be substituted, in the Christian Calendar, for those other three triumphs which had been won by the adopted son of Caesar.

The Sixth of January, therefore, restored the celebration of our Lord’s Birth to the Twenty-Fifth of December; but, in return, there were united in the one same Epiphany, three manifestations of Jesus’ glory: the mystery of the Magi coming from the East, under the guidance of a star, and adoring the Infant of Bethlehem as the divine King; the mystery of the Baptism of Christ, who, whilst standing in the waters of the Jordan, was proclaimed by the Eternal Father as Son of God; and thirdly, the mystery of the divine power of this same Jesus, when He changed the water into wine at the marriage-feast of Cana.

We propose to treat of the three mysteries, united in this great Solemnity, in the following order. Today, we will unite with the Church in honoring all three; during the Octave, we will contemplate the Mystery of the Magi coming to Bethlehem; we will celebrate the Baptism of our Savior on the Octave Day; and we will venerate the Mystery of the Marriage of Cana on the Second Sunday after the Epiphany, which is the day appropriately chosen by the Church for the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.

Let us, then, open our hearts to the joy of this grand Day; and on this Feast of the Theophany, of the Holy Lights, of the Three Kings, let us look with love at the dazzling beauty of our Divine Sun, who, as the Psalmist expresses it, runs his course as a Giant, and pours out upon us floods of a welcome and yet most vivid light. The Shepherds, who were called by the Angels to be the first worshippers, have been joined by the Prince of Martyrs, the Beloved Disciple, the dear troop of Innocents, our glorious Thomas of Canterbury, and Sylvester the patriarch of Peace; and now, today, these Saints open their ranks to let the Kings of the East come to the Babe in His crib, bearing with them the prayers and adorations of the whole human race. The humble stable is too little for such a gathering as this, and Bethlehem seems to be worth all the world besides. Mary, the Throne of the divine Wisdom, welcomes all the members of this court with her gracious smile of Mother and Queen; she offers her Son to man, for His adoration, and to God, that He may be well pleased. God manifests Himself to men, because He is great; but He manifests Himself by Mary, because He is full of mercy.

But let us return to the triumph of our sweet Savior and King. His magnificence is manifested to us so brightly on this Feast! Our mother, the Church, is going to initiate us into the mysteries we are to celebrate. Let us imitate the faith and obedience of the Magi: let us adore, with the holy Baptist, the divine Lamb, over whom the heavens open: let us take our place at the mystic feast of Cana, where our dear King is present, thrice manifested, thrice glorified. In the last two mysteries, let us not lose sight of the Babe of Bethlehem; and in the Babe of Bethlehem let us cease not to recognize the Great God, (in whom the Father was well-pleased,) and the supreme Ruler and Creator of all things.

Psalm 116

O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For His mercy is confirmed upon us: and the truth of the Lord remaineth forever.

The holy Church–after having thus celebrated the power given to the Divine Babe over kings, whom He shall break, in the day of His wrath; His covenant with the Gentiles, whom He will give as an inheritance to His Church; the light that is risen up in darkness; His Name blessed from the rising to the setting of the sun; and after having, on this the day of the Vocation of the Gentiles, invited all nations, and all people, to praise the eternal mercy and truth of God;–addresses herself to Jerusalem, the figure of the Church, and conjures her, by the Prophet Isaias, to take advantage of the Light, which has this day risen upon the whole human race.

13 Our Fathers in honor of St. Francis of Paola

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It is piously believed that St. Francis of Paola recited 13 Our Fathers and Hail Marys in honor of Our Lord and His Apostles. A most worthy endeavor for us to take up. The following is from The Racolta:

https://acatholiclife.blogspot.com/2018/01/13-fridays-in-honor-of-st-francis-of.html

Pope Clement XII., in the Brief Coelestium munerum dispensatio of Dec. 2, 1738, granted –

i. A plenary indulgence to all the faithful who, upon thirteen Fridays continuously preceding the Feast of St. Francis of Paola (April 2), or at any other time of the year, shall, in honour of this Saint, being truly penitent, visit, after Confession and Communion, a church of the Minims, commonly called the Paolotti, either already erected or hereafter to be erected, and pray there for our Holy Mother Church; this Indulgence may be gained on any one of the said Fridays; and

ii. An indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines on all other Fridays.

Moreover, wherever there are not churches of the above named order, or where they are distant at least a mile from a person’s own dwelling, the same Clement XII. granted in these two cases, by a Brief Nuper editae of March 20, 1739, the same indulgences to the faithful as are mentioned above, conditional of course upon their previous Confession and Communion. In this Brief permission is given to visit any other church whatsoever dedicated to God in honour of St. Francis of Paola, or any altar existing in any church where there is a picture of this glorious Saint; and if none of these conditions can be complied with, the visit may be made to their own parish church.

This devotion originated with St. Francis himself, who practised it in honour of our Lord Jesus Christ and His twelve Apostles with this intent, on each of the thirteen Fridays he used to recite thirteen Pater noster’s and as many Ave Maria’s, and this devotion he promulgated by word of mouth and by letter to his own devout followers, as an efficacious means of obtaining from God the graces they desired, provided they were for the greater good of their souls.

Since the death of the Saint, which took place April 2, 1507, the day on which Good Friday fell in that year, this devotion has always been practised by the faithful throughout the whole Catholic world in honour of the holy Founder; and so it came at last to be approved by the said Clement XII., who granted the Indulgences above named, in order to animate good Christians to adopt it.

The life of an SSPX Seminarian

Follow the life of an SSPX Seminary, those earthly angels of the Lord, called forth to continue in the restoration of the Church.

http://fsspx.news/en/news-events/news/sspx-seminary-zaitzkofen-germany-produces-video-following-life-seminarian-34569

“He is an angel purifying, illuminating and perfecting the souls that God has entrusted to him. He is a seraph sent by God to teach men the science of salvation which is concerned only with knowing and loving Almighty God and His Divine Son, Jesus Christ.
The priest is an archangel and a prince of the heavenly militia, waging constant war against the devil who strives to drag countless souls into the depths of hell.”  -St. John Eudes

A call for priests – An overview of the priestly seminary in Zaitzkofen, Bavaria, following the path of one seminarian as he undergoes his priestly formation.

This impressive video shows the importance of priests in today’s world, and traces the both the formation of the seminarian and Archbishop Lefebvre’s insight by forming the SSPX on the backbone of the preservation of the priesthood.